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17th Feb 2022

Referee blows for half-time with Mo Salah clean through on goal

Simon Lloyd

In the end, it didn’t appear to matter too much…

Liverpool has one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals after their 2-0 victory away to Inter Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday night.

Late goals from Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah put Jurgen Klopp’s side in firm control of the tie ahead of the return leg at Anfield.

The Reds, however, could have taken the lead much earlier in the evening.

Mo Salah refereeing controversy.

In the dying seconds of the first half in Milan, Mo Salah was able to spin his man close to the halfway line, suddenly finding himself with a clear run at the Inter goal. This, it seemed, would only end one way.

But just as the Egyptian began to shift through the gears. Polish referee Szymon Marciniak decided – one minute and 58 seconds into two minutes of added-on time – that this was a good time to blow the half-time whistle.

Salah was clearly bemused by the decision, as were plenty of Liverpool supporters commenting on the game on Twitter.

Twitter backlash:

One fan sarcastically let his feelings be known by the referee’s actions in calling half-time.

Another user compared the decision to a game of FIFA.

The second half at the San Siro.

Liverpool finally got their breakthrough 15 minutes from time. Having absorbed a spell of Inter pressure, they were awarded a corner. Roberto Firmino met Andy Robertson’s cross with a glancing near-post header, which beat Samir Handanović.

Eight minutes later, Salah got himself on the scoresheet. After Inter had failed to clear the ball from their area, the ball fell kindly for the former Roma forward, who lashed home a low shot through a crowd of players.

The return leg will be played at Anfield on March 8th, however, the tie already looks beyond salvage for Inter.